This is an account of our playtest of the Ork Big (grand) Kroozer of our own design, the Zappah. In case you haven't read the Zappah's stats, the Zappah is an Ork grand cruiser (12 hits) which carries large racks of broadside energy weapons. These weapons are equivlent to lance fire, and in typical Ork quirkiness, they have a randomly rolled firepower. Commissar Sonata pitted himself against the terror of the local undefeated champion, our own Lord Admiral Acoron. Here for your amusement, is an account of that battle, and some fluff to boot!
The Ork raiders were fast approaching Fleet Captain Claricus' line of Imperial ships. The Captain kept his ships a bit slower, whilst on the back of the bridge, the Master of Ordnance had the launch bays pour out attack craft as quickly as humanly possible.
"Ork Ramships in range, Captain..." reported the Operations Officer.
Claricus broke his stone demeanor: "All prow gunners, fire at will!" he barked.
The lances of the Imperial light cruisers and the bombardment cannon of the accompanying Space Marine vessel fired, and bright lights played across the Ork line. Claricus felt the Thunderchild shudder under his feet as its prow lance fired. Several of the Ork Ramships exploded spectacularly, the others began to weave and turn, trying to avoid being the next casualties.
The Ork ships did not appear to have a lot of firepower in their prows, and this seemed odd to Claricus. "No matter," he thought, "once our lines pass those rustbuckets will be at the mercy of our superior manouverability. They have bigger ships, but that'll do nothing to save their tails..."
Two of the Imperial destroyers were vapourised by the clumsy but powerful Ork heavy guns. The Orks ships then loomed upon the Imperial line, and passed dangerously close to the opposing capital ships. Claricus barked again to his Master of Gunnery: "All ships, broadside! Fire at..."
But as he spoke, a bright light pierced the bridge. Large beams of energy, ensnared with tendrils of lightning lashed out from the largest Ork ship. These were not the clumsy heavy guns. In the middle of the line, the Packmaster exploded in a huge cloud of energy as its plasma coils overloaded. The bridge of the Thunderchild shook violently and several officers fell to the floor.
When the shaking subsided, the Fleet Captain looked to the Operation Officer: "Lieutenant, report!"
"Sir! Several ships hit by unknown energy weapon. Packmaster destroyed, minor damage to all capital ships. It looks like the Ork ships took most of the force from the plasma drive overload.
Claricus narrowed his eyes, "New tricks, hmm? Well, that better not be all they've got, otherwise they're in for quite the flogging. Alpha Squadron, regroup and reload torpedoes! All cruisers, turn about and flank. We'll show those greenskin slimes that we can't be ruffled that easily!"
Orks vs. Imperials in the Outer Reaches
Total points for both sides: 1,010
1 Space Marine Strike Cruiser - The Pullox
2 Enforcer Class Cruisers - The Packmaster and The Thunderchild
3 Dauntless Class Light Cruisers - The Furious, The Hericlese and The Doombringer
4 Viper Class Destroyers and 2 Cobra Class Destroyers - Alpha Squadron
1 Admiral Ld 8 plus one reroll
1 Zappah Class Big Cruiser (with extra turret) - Da Zappah
2 Terror Ships (with torpedo launchers) - Da Fraga and Da Butcha
1 Kill Kroozer - Mork's Jaws
5 Ramships - Eleet Ram Boyz
1 Warlord plus one reroll
ORK TURN ONE: The Orks start 100cm away from Imperial forces and begin launching their fighter bombers and assault boats. The entire fleet move about 20cm.
IMPERIAL TURN ONE: The Imperials move at half speed and launch Thunderhawks and a small screen of fighters.
ORK TURN TWO: The Orks move another 20cm towards the Imperial forces and continue to launch out ordnance.
IMPERIAL TURN TWO: The Imperials move at half speed and launch out their fighters and Thunderhawk gunships.
ORK TURN THREE: While launching more fighter-bombers and assault boats, the Orks shoot down one Imperial fighter at long range and move their fighter bombers and assault boats closer to the Imperials, preparing for attack runs later.
IMPERIAL TURN THREE: The Imperials move at full speed and fire upon the Ramships in front of the main Ork line, destroying three Ramships and forcing the rest of the squad to Brace For Impact. The Imperials then launch more ordnance and position their attack craft so as to protect their ships from incoming attacks.
ORK TURN FOUR: The Orks come up along side the Imperial ships and destroy one Cobra and one Viper from Alpha Squadron. Lance shots from Da Zappah's "Disintygratahs" strike the Packmaster whose plasma coils overload. This inflicts some damage on the Zappah and the Terror Ship Mork's Jaws.
IMPERIAL TURN FOUR: The Imperials turn about to flank the Orks, the Vipers and Cobras using Come to New Heading. Alpha Squadron goes right through the Ork formation, turned 180 degrees and fired their 11 torpedoes. Sadly, this entire salvo is destroyed when it went through a blast marker (ouch!). The rest of the Imperial ships inflict heavy damage on the remaining for Ork cruisers. Thunderhawk gunships manage to destroy the 2 remaining Ramships.
ORK TURN FIVE: The Orks repair a few systems and manage to turn 45 degrees and take a few shots at the Imperials which scores a few hits.
IMPERIAL TURN FIVE: The Imperials continue launching Thunderhawk gunships and fighters. They come about and destroy the Fragga which is reduced to a hulk.
ORK TURN SIX: The Orks turn around and destroy another Viper reducing the squadron to 3 and take a few shots at the Imperial fleet.
IMPERIAL TURN SIX: The Imperial fleet closes on the Orks from behind, firing their port guns on Da Butcha, destroying it. They then fire their lances at Mork's Jaws turning it into a flaming hulk. Lastly the starboard guns fire at Da Zappah inflicting minimal damage.
ORK TURN SEVEN: Da Zappah (the last remaining Ork ship) uses Lock On and fires 11 lances at the Doombringer, the closest ship to it. The Doombringer uses Braces for Impact as it is hit with 9 lances. The shields take one and the Doombringer saves 6 hits, sustaining only 2 hits.
IMPERIAL TURN SEVEN: The Imperials Reload Ordnance and shoot all of their lances at the Zappah crippling it badly. It is then reduced to a hulk from an attack run by bombers and Thunderhawk gunships.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Argh... once again, my tail was sorely whipped by Admiral Acoron, I'm getting used to it though. I'm starting to see a disadvantage to taking so many capital ships in an Ork fleet. Orks aren't very manouverable, so it might be wise to beef up my fleet with escorts, especially when I'm facing all those acursed light cruisers.
But we're not here to talk about my obvious tactical ineptivity, we're here to talk about Da Zappah. It performed better than I expected, since the firepower is randomly generated. The "Disintygratahs" were a real threat, and I was pleasantly surprised when the Packmaster blew up on one broadside. I certainly was not on my game that day, yet I managed to take a decent bite out of Acoron's fleet (which is a lot more than I'm usually able to do). I think Da Zappah will make a nice addition to my fleet, just as long as I keep rolling those sixes... - Commissar Sonata
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